Mick's Minestrone Soup
This is a completely made up recipe that I cobbled together this week using some vegetables that I brought in from the garden and some standard store cupboard ingredients.
So, honestly, I don't know if Minestrone is the right word for it – but it seems to fit. The added pasta makes it a substantial feed, and, because it's not blitzed in a blender after cooking, it's chunky and delicious. You can play around with different vegetables if you don't have what I added here.
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 1 clove garlic, chopped
* 1 leek, cleaned and finely sliced
* 2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
* Half a butternut squash or small pumpkin, peeled and chopped small
* 500ml homemade chicken stock (or made from an organic stock cube)
* 400ml tin chopped tomatoes (I used the same quantity of passata instead)
* 4 tagliatelle 'nests', preferably organic
* 1 bunch spinach leaves, stalks removed and roughly chopped
* Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions and garlic until softened.
* Add the leek, carrot and squash and toss well so they are coated in oil.
* Season well, then cover and cook on a low heat with the lid on the pot, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes. Then add the stock and tomato and cook with the lid off until the vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes) – don't overcook, you don't want the veg to go to mush.
* Stir in the spinach about 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
* Meanwhile, cook the pasta as per instructions in a pot of boiling, salted water. When it's cooked, drain and stir it into the soup pot. Check the seasoning.
* Ladle in to warm bowls and serve with some crusty bread.